Jill grabbed a clip off of her desk and clipped her hair up into a lazy bun, strands of her blonde hair falling loose into her eyes as she sighed. "I can't believe it, I have my own boutique in the mall."
AJ smiled softly.
"Thank you so much, AJ, you put so much effort into this. You really didn't have to," Jill said to him genuinely.
"It was no problem," AJ's grin grew larger. "I'm just glad I made you happy, is all."
Jill smiled. "Well, that I am...That I definitely am."
Brian came into the room looking tired, holding a sleeping Amandah on his hip. "Come on, Sad Eyes, we're gonna drop off me and Squirt at home, then Leigh and AJ are gonna take you to your boutique, so you can make sure it's how you want it."
Jill nodded, rising wearily and slipping her feet into her white flip-flops. "AJ, can I have a ride?"
AJ nodded, and Jill jumped onto his back to be carried down the hall, down the elevator, and into the parking garage to Brian's Grand Cherokee.
"Leigh-Leigh, I have my own boutique!" Jill had slept the half-hour out to their ocean-front house and was now receiving her second wind.
"I know," Leigh Anne grinned at Jill and grabbed her keys off of the hook. She paused to give Amandah, who was still sleeping, a gentle kiss on the forehead, and Brian a quick kiss on the lips. "I'll be back later."
Brian smirked. "I'll be waiting."
AJ gagged. "I'm gonna puke."
Jill laughed. "Like you aren't just as bad with Amanda."
"That is not the point here," AJ said, eyes still wide. "This is...them."
Jill rolled her eyes. "Let's get a McFlurry from McDonalds."
AJ looked at her. "How do you get from your parents" - AJ cringed again - "to ice cream?"
Jill shrugged. "I'm not quite sure."
"I don't want to know," AJ sighed, escorting Jill out the door and sending a sick look in Leigh Anne's direction.
"AJ," Leigh Anne smirked. "You act like you don't know we have sex."
"Knowing and...knowing are two totally different things!" AJ protested.
Leigh Anne rolled her eyes. "If I buy you McDonalds, will you shut up?"
AJ grinned, thinking of McDonalds and all the wonderful things he could fill his stomach with until his tiny waist felt bloated beyong belief. That, in his opinion, was contentment. "Of course."
Jill laughed, looking first at Leigh Anne's face in the streelights, then at AJ's, as the three of them talked and laughed together. She was truly happy, living with Brian. It seemed impossible that something like this would ever happen to anyone, let alone her, but it had happened. To her, no less. Life was good.
Jill led Leigh Anne to the back entrance of her boutique at the mall, next to the shipping dock, and quietly unlocked it, carefully copying the security alarm code into the keypad from the paper she held in her hands. Flipping the lights in the stock room on, she smiled. Boxes of clothing, shoes, and hangers filled the shelves. It all had a delightfully new smell to it that Jill fell in love with that very moment. "It's beautiful."
AJ laughed quietly. For some reason, in the stillness of the empty store, quietness just seemed right. "Jill, it's a stockroom."
Jill turned to him, a dreamy smile on her face. "I know. It's beautiful."
Leigh Anne smirked. "Well, show me the rest of this. The merchandise, baby, show me the merchandise!"
Jill led them out of the stockroom into a small room filled with dressing rooms. She flipped the lights on and stared at the cubicles with denim curtains serving as doors. Each curtain was pulled back and hooked behind a daisy hook, going with the Crazy Daisy theme.
AJ smiled. "Is this beautiful, too?" He asked, hooking his arm around Jill's neck.
Jill grinned. "No, this is amazing."
"Oh," AJ nodded seriously.
Jill lifted her arm and placed it around AJ's this waist, her fingers resting loosely on his hip. "Let's go see the actual store, eh?"
Leigh Anne smiled and led the way. "I can't wait," She said, flipping the lights on.
AJ grinned. "What is this, breathtaking?"
"No, AJ," Jill smirked. "It's just a store."
AJ burst out laughing and locked his arm tighter around Jill's neck, putting her into a headlock and rubbing the top of her head fiercely. "You're stupid, Daisy."
Jill giggled and tried to worm away from AJ unsuccessfully. He held her tightly, still trying to give her a 'noogie', before they fell in a heap on the plush cream carpet.
"Ooh," AJ paused. "Check it out. Nice carpet, not that nasty industrial blue stuff."
"Where do you shop?" Leigh Anne turned from the cash register.
"Wal-Mart," AJ replied easily.
Jill looked around, surveying the room. "X, this is like I planned it. Like in my art book."
AJ nodded. "I know. You think I didn't copy every page of that book before I gave it back? I know how you wanted it, so I made sure you got it."
"You're the best boyband freak ever!" Jill stood, and smiled. "AJ, I designed all these clothes, and all these shoes...It's all me."
AJ grinned up at her from the floor. "I'm glad you're not conceited."
"X, you know I'm not," Jill smiled and flung her arms out, twirling around the store. "They even ironed the clothes before they hung them," She whispered, pausing to look at rack of jeans sticking out from the wall.
AJ rolled onto his stomach and propped his chin in his right hand, simply watching Jill explore. He watched her step to the table in the front of the store, displaying tank tops in different colors and styles, then to each of the many racks in the store, displaying items from the walls or a stand, on mannequins or hangers. Leigh Anne hoisted herself up onto the checkout counter and watched the pair. AJ never moved a muscle other than the necessary ones to watch Jill as she inspected the store.
Two hours later, Jill was satisfied. She had checked everything, right down to what the plastic bags looked like. She even made sure they had dress bags, because she had everything in her store from jeans and t-shirts to prom and evening wear. It was the one-stop shopping dream of every teage girl, right down to the large fluffy chairs conveniently positioned for weary boyfriends and parents.
Turning to AJ and Leigh Anne, her face serious, she spoke. "It's perfect."
AJ stood and smiled widely, so wide his face ached. "Good. You deserve the best."
Jill smiled and hugged his waist hard, her face pressed against his chest. "Thank you so much!"
AJ couldn't stop smiling. "Anything to make you happy."
Jill looked up into his chocolate brown eyes. "Anything?"
"You know your father wouldn't have it any other way."
Leigh Anne walked over to them after Jill finished setting the alarm, and AJ slung an arm around each girl's neck, the three walking out into the darkness.
© 2002 Princess Fan Fics